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Band-Maid @ The Underworld, Camden, London, UK

in Thursday, 13 October 2016 at The Underworld
by Anton Sanatov

I don’t think anyone was expecting that.

The modern music scene likes to stun…after all, that is what progress does. We now exist in a world where the musical diversity is so vast that one can’t help but be sceptical when faced with something that may be deemed a fad. However, this is also part of the pleasurable astonishment that is to be experienced if the act in question turns out to be a maker of worthy sonic sensations that find their way into your ears; something that you don’t expect…

It is safe to say that the Japanese Metal craze has been upon us as of late. Yet as within any scene, each country has its own wide assortment of band’s that represent their land with their own brand of merits. Of course there shall be those that do it better than others, but that is for the listener to decide. I myself had become acquainted with BAND-MAID’s brand of skilful Hard-Rock only a month or so prior of their sole night in the UK – the showcase in question. I already knew that they were a great band with good songs and incredible instrumental prowess, but I also wanted to see whether they could recreate the magic live. Thus once I became enlightened to their planned visit to the heart of Camden, I simply had to take a look.

There were things that I expected, a picture of how the band might have been received on that night. Yet the colours quickly ran and the expectations became mere thumbnails when I arrived to see a line stretch almost all the way around the venue. Now, in the past 6 months or so, I had frequented the Underworld for numerous photo opportunities, and those all those times I had never experience ‘crowd density’ quite like that one. The place overflowed with an incredulously diverse horde of devout fans that were aching to see the MAIDS.

And there was a reason. The girls came out ready to play. Without missing a beat they ripped into some of their best-know songs and to the ecstatic response of the audience, delivered each one with the precision of most experienced musicians. Saiki Atsumi’s vocals were on point the entire night, Kanami Tōno’s guitar licks mesmerised the crowd, tapping them into a frenzy, and Misa’s bass lines maintained utter consistence throughout; a truly impressive collective.

And as I mentioned prior, the band’s stunning performance was only mirrored in the vigour of the manically fanatical crowd who lauded the girls with the devotion equalled to a fan-base of a band that had been around for 30 years instead of 3. Every song was cheered on and showered with well-merited applause, and as I stood and watched from the back of that tremendous crowd, I couldn’t help but be in awe myself.


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